Although systemic administration of NO donors has been shown to attenuate the development of neointimal hyperplasia in the balloon injury model, this strategy has not been tested in a model of allograft vasculopathy. In this study, we investigated the effect of FK409, a spontaneous NO releaser, on the development of allograft vasculopathy, using a rat aortic transplant model. Thoracic aortas from ACI rats were transplanted heterotopically into the abdominal aorta of Wistar-Furth rats. Postoperatively, recipients received FK409 orally every 8 hours from the day of transplantation to the time of euthanization. Morphometric and immunohistochemical analyses were performed on the aortic grafts 8 weeks after transplantation. Control allografts showed severe neointimal hyperplasia, which consists mainly of α-actin-containing vascular smooth muscle cells. The FK409-treated allografts showed a dose-dependent reduction (statistically significant compared with the control) in the neointimal thickness as the dose increased from 1 to 10 mg/kg (thrice per day). However, there was no significant difference in the neointimal thickness between groups treated with 10 and with 20 mg/kg. FK409 treatment (10 mg/kg) caused a significant decrease in DNA synthesis (5-bromo-2-deoxyuridine [BrdU] uptake), an increase in DNA fragmentation (terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase-mediated uridine nick-end labeling [TUNEL]), and upregulation of Fas expression, in the neointimal vascular smooth muscle cells. These data suggest that FK409 attenuates the allograft vasculopathy in a rat aortic transplant model.
- In situ nick-end labeling
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine